The early morning sun’s bright winter yellow-blue hues glow between the slats of the window shades. There’s a stillness and unearthly quiet that can only mean one thing–the world is covered in a blanket of snow. Consciousness continues to drift in as a low hum of a generator from a distant neighbor pierces the stillness telling everyone the power is out. The realization that today is a snow day announces itself as a fact, not a maybe. No one is going to work or school today. Mother nature has decided that for us. Another reality sinks in–there’s no rush, no hurry to start the day or to leave the comfort of a warm bed. A smile and sigh seem the only definite choice for this moment.
Eventually, enough time passes and brings various reasons to meet the day. After the morning chatter and necessary day’s adventures are planned, there’s an undeniable glee that is almost palpable in the room. Suddenly everyone’s eight again. It’s the kind of magic that’s contagious and ageless.
The day begins with cold cereal and hot cocoa, thanks to the BBQ, allowing one to put off the noise of the generator for at least a few more hours. The only stress of the moment is the great search for hats, gloves, boots, scarves, heavy sweaters, and warm coats. Snow days are just sporadic enough to misplace or forget where essential snow gear resides for days like this one.
Eventually, the anticipation is met with actual contact with the white stuff that transforms even the most ordinary landscape into a magical fantasy land. There is a fort to be built, snow creatures to sculpt, snow angels to be made, and sledding not for the faint of heart for anyone living on the side of a mountain; oh yeah, that would be the Wakefields!
The patio furniture is quickly moved and replaced with portable tables and a tarp for the start of the most epic of forts. It will be strong, mighty, and finished in time for lunch to be eaten in it. Others of are climbing to the top of our property. Mind you, it’s easily over a hundred feet above the street. But today, it’s finally covered with enough snow to make sledding the entire mountainside possible without risking great injury.
Hoots, hollers, and laughter fill the hillside as everyone takes a turn trudging up the hill only to slide, tumble and come to some undignified and inglorious stop at the bottom of the ridge or driveway. A rest from sledding means packing snow in the walls and ceiling of our interpretation of a snow cave.
Lunch can only be one thing, my childhood dinner when the power went out–grilled cheese and tomato soup. To make things even more familiar, I decided to cook it on top of our wood-burning stove, just like my mother used to do. Somehow in my heart of hearts, I just know it will taste better this way.
After a late lunch in the fort and now snow-soaked clothes, it’s time to warm up with more hot cocoa and games indoors, but not until every hill in the neighborhood has been properly explored, and sled tested.
Evening settles in with the ungodly noise of our own generator, bringing back a bit of normalcy to this otherwise most nonordinary day. It’s also a chance to catch up with friends, neighbors, and coworkers, sharing their day’s adventures. And the best part is, it’s only Friday, and we’ve got more snow days ahead of us.
A quick shout-out to our essential workers for meeting the needs and emergencies of our community and for getting the lights back on for all of us.